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Who is a boat salesman???

Old 12-20-2002, 05:41 PM
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Question Who is a boat salesman???

I am looking into a career change. I want to do something that I love. I love boats and enjoy meeting new people. I have been in sales before and enjoyed it. I would like to begin a career in boat sales. I am looking for some honest comments from people who are in boat sales.
I am curious about:
Your location
Any perks?

All comments, both good and bad are appreciated!
You can PM or email if you`d rather not post here.
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Old 12-21-2002, 12:00 PM
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Cool Boat Sales...LONG

I have been in sales/brokerage in the marine industry for about 4 years now...I actually got into it during the summers between college and now I am full time since I graduated college in May. Growing up on the water and now working around it is great. You meet people from all different backgrounds and help them with their investment.

The dealership that I work sells mostly large SeaRay Crusiers in the 28-45ft. range. Were are paid a modest base salary and then we earn 2% on what we sell. For easy math...If I sell a $100,000 SeaRay my commission is $2,000 plus my base salary. Other dealerships may pay on gross profit but I like being paid a percentage of the selling price. Here's one reason...we recently sold a boat that was a 2000 Model. It was on the showroom floor for almost 3 years...unpopular model. We ended up selling it for dealer cost. If I was paid on gross profit I would have ended up with nothing. I will average about 50k a year. I am happy with that since I haven't been out of school for a full year yet...I have the usual benefits and retirment plans as well. A drawback is that there is no dental.

The perks...well I get to take out pretty much any boat that I want for the afternoon or after work. Last summer I even took my girlfriend out on a 38ft. SeaRay crusier for the weekend. Another perk is during the summer months I am always outside and usually on the water. Also get to take tours at the factory and learn how the "industry" really prices boats. Aother perk that I like is to be able to drive and go through different boats that we get on trade. After a while, you can really see who the top manufacturers are.

The drawback....let's put it to you this way....during the summer I worked every single Sat. 9-5 and Sun 11-4. My dayoff in the summer is Wed. However, since we are located on the water...I would put my personal boat in at the ramp by my house and boat to work . Then after work...go down to the slip to hop in the boat and grab a bite to eat on the water at a waterfront resturant.
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Old 12-21-2002, 12:18 PM
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Lake Lanier, GA
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I did it while I was in school and lived up north. The obvious perks doing what you love, being out in the sun, and on the water. The down side is that a lot of marine based businesses are not run the best so job stability in one place is harder to come by. The summers that I would work in the the marina I wouldn't take a day off from Memorial day till Labor day. It was great to make the extra money then, cause you weren't making any over the winter in NY.

If you find the right place, it's a great atmosphere to live in.
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Old 12-21-2002, 12:43 PM
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The downside is a good salesperson could probrably make more money selling cars or many other things. The upside is doing something that you love is half the battle. I've been selling boats for over 35 years and still enjoy every day. If you eat, sleep and breathe boats,if it is your hobby and your passion, go for it. If not, if the money is more important than enjoying the job,look else where.My next door neighbor and good friend is a car dealer,I could probrably make more money working for him, but I don't want to sell cars,I want to sell boats cause I love boats and boating. The ones that survive in our small and precarious industry are those that are really into boats as a lifestyle, not just a paycheck. Good luck,boat sales have been good to me and my wife, it could be to you too.
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Old 12-21-2002, 01:54 PM
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I say go for it!
Boat sales has been berry berry good to me....

Seriously though, I have been able to carve out a very good lifestyle and raise 2 children. We live comfortably and in a nice home. The hard part is you are working 24-7.
This is by no means a 9-5 proffession and unless you are willing to make some sacrifice you wont make it in this game.

As some of the others have mentioned, you could sell lots of things and make better money. I have a real estate license, and have held a health and life license. I dont use them!

My passion is Hi-performance, custom, and speed. So thats where I devote all my energy. If you love to fish, sell fishing and fishing boats. If overnighting and cruising is your thing, get into a dealership with those products.

Wherever you end up good luck!
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Old 12-22-2002, 12:47 PM
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Just be sure to find a lasting company with a good reputation. This is a small industry and if you screw someone onceÖword gets around. You are selling a product that many people want, few can afford, and nobody needs. The up side is that the people that you meet can and will become life long friends if you treat them right. I have open access to the majority of the boats that I have sold. I get to sell 40íPeaces of art and then teach people how to run them. All this while getting paid. It is a great lifestyle. Just stay honest. Donít sell people what they cannot afford. They will pay insurance, boat payments, and storage and find that they have no money for gas. Donít Upsell. Its not worth it in the long run. Sell them what they can afford and let them enjoy it. Eventually they will fall in love with boating and come back for a bigger or faster boat on their own. Play by the rules and Good Luck!
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Old 12-23-2002, 08:51 AM
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Thanks for the replies.
I want to do this because I love boats and boating. I already have a good job, I just want to do something I love. Life is too short to be working at something that doesn`t make you happy.
I am going to begin working toward this goal and hopefully everything will fall into place for me!
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Old 12-23-2002, 09:18 AM
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Location: Lake Lanier - N. Georgia
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Lightbulb advice..........


If you are going to venture in the boat sales world , work for a non-high performance dealership. We sell approx 5 boats a week during our peak months and they are not high performance boats. The high performance stuff is our hobby and we could not play the way we do without the lower end products. BH
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Old 12-23-2002, 09:47 AM
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DonMan....Mid-Missouri Yacht Brokerage is looking for somebody, preferably with experience, to sell con-signment boats. They sell Hi-Performance, cruisers, and family boats and are also a Rinker dealer I think. They're located in Osage Beach, MO.(aka LOTO) on Hwy 54.. Their # is 573-302-0500. Hope this helps. "Skip"
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Old 12-23-2002, 06:23 PM
Keith E. Sayre
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I agree with IDRPSTF. It's very important that you work for someone that you trust and who has a good reputation. I sell
for Conquest Boats and have sold boats here in Lake Havasu
for about 7 years and love it. I work 7 days a week most of the
year and get off work usually after dark. But the money
can be pretty decent. Most boat sales people here in Havasu
probably earn $50,000 to $60,000 per year but there are a couple of us making $100,000 plus but we certainly earn it.

Here's my two cents worth: treat the customer right and you will
not only have repeat business which is always very profitable but
more importantly, you will gain more "good" friends than you can
count. Remember, buying a boat,(in our case usually about $80,000 plus options) is usually the biggest thing that most people will ever do. Find it within yourself to make them think
that their boat is the most important thing in YOUR life and you
will earn their respect and their trust. With that comes loyalty
to you and your dealership and that translates into profit.
If you allow the "everyday humdrum of business" to interfere
with the fun of selling a boat, you will most likely fail.
If your attitude is right, you will be making lifelong friendships at
the same time that you are doing something you enjoy and at the same time you will be earning a living! It doesn't get much
better than that!

Keith Sayre
Conquest Boats
Lake Havasu City, AZ
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